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Eugene Patterson
Eugene Patterson (Associated Press)

Eugene Patterson

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July 30, 2014
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July 30, 2014
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Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed.

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January 13, 2013
The highlight of my 39 years in the Times newsroom was being able to work with Gene, discussing with him daily what the top stories of the world were and why I had designed 1-A as I had.

Only once did he overrule me: The first on-the-surface photo from a Mars explorer was a blurry, orange thing that I didn't want to print. He simply said, "Bob, that's a photo from MARS. Let's run that.'' We did.

My other favorite memory, which illustrated his down-to-earth approach, especially about himself: The New York Times once profiled the St. Petersburg Times and described Gene's newsroom demeanor -- and stature -- as resembling Jimmy Cagney.

When I asked Gene what he thought of this, he chuckled and said, "No, more like Mickey Rooney.''

He was a visionary who inspired countless journalists. We who got to work with him are forever blessed.
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